Episode 63 – OPEX

Today we are joined by two very special guests from OPEX: James “OPT” Fitzgerald and Jim Crowell. James Fitzgerald was one of my primary motivators when I first started CrossFit. James started OPEX soon after moving to Arizona which has become one of the most popular training programs in the world. Now on the eve of the rollout of the OPEX physical location gyms, James and Jim join me to discuss the OPEX model, how it works, program design, and flaws they see in the group model.

Reminder the 2017 Two-Brain Summit is coming this June 3rd and 4th in Chicago. Be sure to register now!

In this Interview:

  • What IS the OPEX model?
  • The value of 1:1 design and coaching
  • Pros and Cons of group training, according to Fitzgerald
  • How to get started with OPEX (click HERE for the Coach’s Toolkit)




About James:

James is the founder of OPEX (Formerly OPT) and The International Center for Fitness. He is a husband, father, and fitness athlete with 20 years of experience in coaching and nutritional lifestyle balancing techniques. James found his desire and passion to understand fitness through assessment, testing, and research within the industry. He has had many years of experience as an athlete from childhood to adult where he was crowned “Fittest on Earth” as the winner of the 2007 CrossFit Games.


About: Jim:

After a brief stint in the financial arena, Jim followed his heart and made his way back into the fitness business by managing several facilities in Pittsburgh. It was here where he spent hours learning and testing coaching and business principles that he still implements today. He has built his reputation around three main points: hard work, progress, and fulfillment. After his tenure in Pittsburgh he joined OPEX where he now has the privilege of working with business owners and coaches from all over the world.



1:31 – James OPT Fitzgerald & Jim Crowell Introduction

5:10 – Optimum Performance Training to OPEX. The Story.

7:47 – What do the day to day operation of the OPEX gym look like?

8:30 – Jim’s story and how he fits into OPEX

9:48 – What is the OPEX model and how is it different?

10:41 – What does the intake process look like for a new client in the OPEX gym?

12:24 – How does an absolute beginner learn when they are brand new?

13:17 – Movements for a brand new client post first assessment

15:15 – How to determine when a client is ready for more complex exercises?

18:32 – Is there a point where you restrict your clients from pushing further?

20:30 – OPEX gym marketing and outreach strategies

23:12 – How frequently is the ongoing prescription for a client?

25:27 – Helping clients realize that the gym is individualized

26:44 – Re assessing with clients and upping their training program

28:44 – How OPEX incorporates nutrition and broader lifestyle choices for clients

32:30 – An example of a burned out client and how to give them a break

34:18 – High intensity fitness and its effect on coaches

36:46 – Is there a place for individual and group training in the same gym.

39:03 – Ensuring that each client is receiving equal attention in a group workout session

41:03 – The important relationship between a coach and a client

42:01 – How to deal with a client that needs more attention than others

44:09 – The business model for brick and mortar OPEX gyms

46:28 – The long term vision for OPEX

48:50 – How to get your brand name out there to the masses

50:07 – Fine tuning the structure of OPEX for continued scaling in the future

52:48 – How is OPEX best positioned to meet emerging opportunities and join the tribe

54:45 – Certain things that OPEX used to recommend but no longer does

57:35 – What is retention like for brick and mortar OPEX locations

60:57 – Who determines the pricing model for each OPEX gym

64:05 – What systems come with the OPEX license?

67:24 – What is the coach’s compensation model in an OPEX facility?

69:01 – Who are the mentors to James and Jim?

73:56 – Best advice for entrepreneurs in the fitness industry


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Episode 63 – OPEX

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